What the pandemic has taught us about the importance of local food

What the pandemic has taught us about the importance of local food

While the COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing issue that’s still active around the globe, we’ve already been able to learn from it by looking back at the past few months and seeing where societies succeeded and failed. Fortunately, things are going fairly well here in Ontario at the moment - a trend we hope to see continue - and we are able to enjoy many of the things that make our home so great. Beautiful public outdoor spaces, independent shops and family businesses like ours, and of course, some amazing independent restaurants and local food markets. It’s been a long road for many of these businesses, and we’re glad to see them rebuilding in this new chapter!

This time has also reminded us just how important local food is to a community. VG Meats has been incredibly busy during the pandemic because families needed high quality, reliable local food. When many grocery store shelves were bare as panic buying set in across the country, our team went above and beyond to ensure that our customers had access to meat and other food staples. We increased our delivery schedule and fulfilled thousands (yes, thousands!) of orders each month. And as food scarcity became a genuine concern due to production, transportation and border crossing issues, we said it to ourselves again and again: local food isn’t just high quality and delicious, it’s necessary to food security in Ontario and around the country.

Quality, access and abundance

We appreciate having access to international food, but as local food producers, we don’t believe our community should rely on it. It’s not smart or safe to be so dependent on other countries (or even other provinces) to feed our families. Sure, we’re going to buy bananas knowing that they’re not local - but when it comes to meat, seasonal produce, baked goods and even packaged items, try to shop from producers in your region. You might be amazed how many staples of your family’s diet are available in your own backyard! These foods are not only delicious, but accessible and plentiful.

When we support local food producers and help them thrive, we protect ourselves from the potential of food scarcity or skyrocketing prices due to a reliance on international food. Buying local contributes to the success of local economies and helps employ your friends and neighbours. When you buy from an Ontario farmer or food producer, you’re purchasing something that’s fresh, traceable and delicious. We should be building up the local food industry as much as possible, knowing that if international supply chains struggle in future, our access to nutrition is stable, and in fact, abundant.

Our values haven’t changed

VG Meats has always been passionate about local food, and is committed to spreading this message not only for the benefit of our own business, but for all Ontario food producers and their customers. This is about making us stronger and more self-reliant as a community. It’s important stuff!

Our family continues to provide high quality beef, chicken and pork products while utilizing sustainable, ethical, care-driven methods, and we’re always learning and bettering ourselves and our team. The pandemic prompted us to create more efficiencies in order to respond to our community’s needs, and we’re proud to be a reliable, quality source of food for your family. Thank you for trusting us.

You’re welcome to shop at our Simcoe and Stoney Creek retail locations, where additional health and safety measures remain in place. Additionally, we offer online shopping with in-store pick-up or home delivery to over 55 locations across southern Ontario. Thank you so much for reading and for your support of local food - believe us when we say it’s an industry that will love you right back.